The Demant Group was founded in 1904 by Hans Demant, under the name Oticon. After his death in 1910, his son William Demant took over.
Already before World War I, Oticon increased its sales volume to cover Scandinavia and Saint Petersburg. In the twenties and thirties, a network of agents was established in Europe.
During World War II, Oticon started its own production due to the scarcity of goods from other countries.
In 1957, William and his wife Ida Emilie donated the Demant family’s shares in the company to the Oticon Foundation which is today called The William Demant Foundation. The Foundation’s general aim is charity with particular emphasis on helping people with a hearing impairment and today the Oticon Foundation is the main shareholder in William Demant Holding A/S with a holding of app. 61%.